Befree Talks

Befree Talks #2 Susana Sierra: “At Befree I haven’t been asked why I’m still programming”

Interviews January 21, 2022

A few weeks ago we inaugurated the Befree Talks section on the Befree blog. In the first installment we talked to Alberto Ascorve, with a more entrepreneurial profile. This time, our protagonist is Susana Sierra, an SAP professional with around fifteen years of experience.

QUESTION: You have a career spanning fifteen years. What led you to become an ABAP professional?

ANSWER: I started in SAP by chance, you could say that SAP chose me and not the other way around. Christmas 2004, I had been in Madrid for a month and I started a scholarship given by the company Coritel. Two or three days after starting there, I turned on the computer in the morning and there was SAP. I had been selected to learn ABAP, and then at the end of the scholarship they gave me my first job opportunity. at Befree

Q: You have collaborated on many projects throughout your freelance career, what would you say are the main advantages of working this way?

A: Being freelance is more suited to my way of being. I like change, in my life and at the work level. I think it is an advantage to be in many projects in different fields and from different companies. It broadens your field of knowledge, seeing the same things but from a different point of view. You meet many people and many ways of working. And obviously, there is also the monetary issue. I take risks but I also have a financial reward. at Befree

Q: Which of all the projects you’ve worked on did you like the most? Why?

A: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite project. I remember the projects because of the people and the work environment. So I have very fond memories of places where I’ve met lovely people. If I am at ease on a project, I would say the satisfaction rate would be 95% because of the colleagues and bosses I have.

Q: Your long career must have provided you with good advice and lessons learned. Which ones do you take away from it? What do you think every SAP professional must have in order to succeed?

A: I don’t remember ever being told “I’m going to give you this advice”. My thing is more about learning, and one of the things I have learned is that to be a good professional you must first be a good colleague, which usually goes hand in hand with being a good person. The best bosses I have had have first been great colleagues, willing to help, to “accompany”?

Not only do you feel more comfortable working that way, but it also makes you try to give more of yourself, to do your best. On a more professional level, focusing on the software itself, one of the things I have come to realize is that SAP is slow to learn. SAP is very big and it’s constantly changing. So it’s better to go slow but steady rather than trying to know everything as you start. I just don’t see it as feasible.

Q: Finally, what piece of advice would you give, and what message would you give to professionals and companies of Befree?

A: If I may, I would prefer to rephrase the question: “What message would you give to professionals and companies in the sector? My message would be to make visible changes in our mindset. Let’s not leave so much weight on our prejudices or biases, which, although we don’t want to admit it, continue to condition so much in Spain.

For example, here it is deeply rooted that you have to leave programming after a few years. Why is it frowned upon to continue programming after 40? Why is age -being too young or too old- still a problem to opt for a job offer? And well, work-life balance, that would be a separate issue. At Befree they haven’t asked me my age or why I’m still programming. It’s the kind of company I want to go for.

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